A young swimmer takes a dives at the Fort Langley outdoor pool in 2017. A new public engagement process to get input on options for the shut-down pool is underway. (Langley Advance Times file)

A young swimmer takes a dives at the Fort Langley outdoor pool in 2017. A new public engagement process to get input on options for the shut-down pool is underway. (Langley Advance Times file)

A new look at the fate of the Fort Langley outdoor pool gets underway

Online consultation offers respondents more options than previous survey

Residents have a new opportunity to weigh in on the fate of the Fort Langley outdoor pool, one that will give them “more opportunities to provide input on a larger selection of possible amenities for the space,” according to the online survey that went up at www.tol.ca/news/flcp-survey in early March.

Comments provided in a previous survey “have been reviewed and retained as valuable input to inform the future of the park,” the survey said.

In “Frequently Asked Questions,” the new online questionnaire notes a spray park was originally proposed as a “lower cost amenity” to replace the pool, but council “requested that staff conduct further public engagement to better understand the needs and desires of residents before committing to one particular amenity.”

READ ALSO: Council puts Fort Langley pool replacement on pause

Among the options included in a Nov. 9 report by Harb Chohan, director of facilities and sustainability for the Township engineering division, was replacing the pool with a bigger four-lane, 25m facility, at an estimated cost pf $7.5 million.

Cohan warned the larger pool would reduce the expansion of the Fort Langley Cemetery, result in the removal of “significant trees and green space” as well as “deconstruction of the existing caretaker residence” and loss of the sports field to accommodate the new facility.

Staff have recommended a less expensive existing conversion of the pool site to a spray park, at a cost of $1 million.

Built in 1962, the pool has “outlived its useful life,” Chohan cautioned, citing a number of unplanned closures “to ensure public health and safety, and compliance with applicable standards.”

READ ALSO: 12-year-old petitions to preserve Fort Langley Pool

Coun. Bob Long , who favoured the spray park option, said the new round of public engagement was in response to “public outcry” over the proposed conversion.

A report on the new survey will be presented to council in June.

An online change.org petition to preserve the pool, “Save the Fort Langley outdoor pool!” launched by 12-year-old Nora Cashato had collected more than 3,300 signatures as of Monday, March 15.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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